DOUBTS OVER PROJECT
A PLANNED £4 million football centre of excellence is still awaiting the go-ahead after councillors demanded more information last week.
Mansfield Town Football Club wants to build the complex on land to the west of Beck Lane in Skegby.
But the money-spinning scheme has brought fierce protests from local residents and conservationists who say it will destroy the countryside and only benefit a small portion of the community.
The proposal includes outdoor pitches, floodlights, a gymnasium and therapy pool as well as offices, accommodation for football students, a running track and car parking.
At Ashfield council's planning meeting last week however, councillors delayed making a decision on the multi-million pound scheme, saying they wanted more information on its financial backing.
Coun Kier Barsby said details of community benefit from the scheme were "sketchy" and added: "The applicant is not prepared to discuss how the project will be funded can we not explore this further?"
On Monday, Stags chairman Keith Haslam told Chad he did not believe there was a legal or planning requirement to provide details of financial backing.
But he said he would work with the council and attempt to "pull together all the information they are looking for".
"We're looking at the situation and everything is in hand," he added. "The money would come from different funding streams which we are confident is obtainable."
At Thursday's meeting Mr Haslam told councillors: "As most of you will have seen we have had some success on the playing field this season.
"We feel tonight is as important, if not more so. Promotion is short term and we are looking at something long term and for the community at large."
He said the club had looked at potential locations for the development in Mansfield, but there was nowhere as suitable as the Skegby site.
Ashfield planning officers had recommended approval for the application, but councillors agreed to defer their decision until more information was provided.
Source: The Chad
Latest | May 2002